Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen could become Philippe on Saturday

Forecasters are watching an area of disturbed weather in the Caribbean for possible tropical development

The storm was located about 20 miles southwest of Havana and about 120 miles south-southwest of Key West. Stronger winds will be found on the east coast, where a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Craig Key to Golden Beach, Florida.

A tropical storm warning is now in effect for the Cuban provinces of Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos and Villa Clara.

In the Caribbean sea, meanwhile, Tropical Depression Eighteen formed south of Cuba with winds of 35 miles per hour (55 kph).

The storm is now located about 170 miles south-southwest of Havana, Cuba, and is already bringing heavy rains to the island and as far north as Florida Keys.

Tropical Storm Watches are in effect, as the brunt of the storm will stay off shore. Although they are expected to taper off in the afternoon, they should also resume this evening.

Heavy rains were expected for the Cayman Islands, western and central Cuba and the northern Bahamas.

When the system gains tropical storm strength it will be given the name Philippe and become the 16th named storm of the year.

Central Florida - particularly Brevard and Osceola counties - could see heavy rain from this storm as early as Saturday night, said WFTV meteorologist George Waldenberger.

The storm strengthened into Tropical Depression 18 Saturday morning as it began spreading rain in the Florida Keys and South Florida.



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